Welcome to Simple Fare, Fairly Simple. This is a place for me to post recipes of all kinds...along with other miscellaneous fodder from my so-called life here in the south. Who knows what you will find here. Could be anything from my husband...known as IT Guy...to my kids and beautiful grandbabies that are growing up way too fast right before my eyes. But...mostly this will be a place for food. I hope you'll see something you like and if you decide to try something from the list...leave me a comment and let me know!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Rainy Day Beef Stew

Today was kind of a dreary day. Cloudy....drizzly rain...not too cold, but long sleeves felt nice. Before I ran out to do errands, I set out some stew meat to thaw. All the while I was gone, I kept thinking about that stew meat. I kept thinking how good that stew was going to taste on this dreary, drizzly day. Was I right? Oh yes...I was right. To be perfectly honest, I haven't made stew in for-EV-ah...so maybe that's one reason I was looking forward to it so much. I was glad I made the "executive" (read: chief cook and bottle washer) decision and made stew. I was a happy girl tonight.

Rainy Day Beef Stew

3 tablespoons oil
2 pounds stew meat
3 cups potatoes - 1 inch dice, unpeeled
2 cups carrots - sliced into coins
1 medium onion - large dice
2 32-ounce containers beef broth
1/2 cup flour - divided use
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Kitchen Bouquet
Salt & Pepper to taste
A few shakes of Worcestershire sauce

Heat oil into a large dutch oven over medium high heat.

In a large zip top bag, combine 1/4 cup flour, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add stew meat and shake well until all stew meat is covered. Dump the meat into the hot oil and let it brown on all sides for about 10 minutes.

Add all chopped veggies and beef broth, reserving 1 cup of the broth. Add a few shakes of Worcestershire sauce, and salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer on low heat for a couple of hours.

Combine reserved beef broth and remaining 1/4 cup flour in a small bowl. Add to stew and let simmer for another 30 minutes or so.

The stuff for the stew.....except the Worcestershire sauce. But I used it. Cross my heart.
The stuff for the stew.....except 
the Worcestershire sauce. But I used it. 
Cross my heart.
Shake the meat together with the flour, salt and pepper.
Shake the meat together with 
the flour, salt and pepper.
Lightly dusted...you don't want a thick coating.
Lightly dusted...you don't want a thick coating.
Add it to the heated oil and let it cook for a few minutes.
Add it to the heated oil and let
 it cook for a few minutes.
Then add the diced veggies. Remember...you're only cooking this for a couple of hours so you don't want big chunks of veggies. Small-ish dice + short cooking time = tender veggies.
Then add the diced veggies. 
Remember...you're only cooking 
this for a couple of hours so you 
don't want big chunks of veggies. 
Small-ish dice + short cooking time = tender veggies.
Add the beef broth and Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to taste.
Add the beef broth and Worcestershire 
sauce, salt and pepper to taste.
Add 1/4 cup flour and the 1 cup of reserved beef broth.
Add 1/4 cup flour and the 1 cup
 of reserved beef broth.
Pour it into the stew to thicken it up.
Pour it into the stew to thicken it up.
Add the Kitchen Bouquet and allow to cook for another 30 minutes. If you've never used Kitchen Bouquet, you should! It's used to add flavor and to brown gravies and stews. Good stuff!
Add the Kitchen Bouquet and allow 
to cook for another 30 minutes. If you've 
never used Kitchen Bouquet, you should! 
It's used to add flavor and to brown gravies and stews. 
Good stuff!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I made this the other day when no one was home but IT Guy and me...which doesn't happen very often these days.  I was in the mood for some seafood but I knew IT Guy wouldn't even come near it so it was leftovers for him! I whipped up his food real quick so I could fix mine and relish every bite! And I did, too! What made it taste even better was that I scored a great deal on the shrimp. And the smell of that garlic cooking in the pan must have lingered because when one of my kids walked in the door...his nose went in the air and asked if there was any more of whatever he was smelling. Sadly...for him..there was none. I ate it ALL and didn't feel one bit guilty, either!

Roasted Garlic Shrimp with Pasta

8 ounces angel hair pasta – cooked and drained

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 cloves garlic – minced
½ pound Shrimp – peeled, deveined
Cayenne pepper - optional but recommended

Cook pasta. Drain and set aside.

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and butter. Add minced garlic and sauté until garlic is lightly browned. Add shrimp, salt, pepper and cayenne. Cook until shrimp is done. Add pasta to skillet and combine well. Divide onto two plates.

Serves 2

Here's ALMOST everything. 
Apparently I was so excited to 
make this that I forgot to show 
the butter and cayenne pepper. 
But I DID use it!

See? Here's the butter swimming 
with the olive oil.

Throw in your minced garlic 
and let that cook a bit.

Toss on your cleaned shrimp.

Cook until the shrimp are done. 
This will only take a few minutes.

Throw in your cooked and drained pasta!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Truffle Cake

I was having a conversation with someone not too long ago about gluten-free recipes. I know there are not too many on my list of recipes, but I hope this makes up for it! Even though it's gluten-free you sure don't know it! The fact that there is no flour in this is not missed! It's called Truffle Cake for a reason!! It's like one giant piece of candy!! And easy, too! Careful, though. It's rich..a little slice goes a long way!

Truffle Cake

3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips – 18 ounces
2 sticks butter – 1 cup
6 large eggs – room temperature

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a 9-inch cake pan with cooking spray. Cut a round of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the cake pan. Spray paper. Have a large roasting pan ready.

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add chocolate chips and stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs on high speed for 7 minutes or until tripled in volume and soft peaks form. Fold chocolate mixture into eggs until well blended. Pour into prepared cake pan.

Place cake pan into the large roasting pan and pour boiling water in roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the cake pan. Cover cake pan loosely with foil. Bake 40 minutes. (Cake looks soft but sets when cold.)

Cool cake on wire rack. Cover and chill for 3 hours or until firm. Invert on serving platter, shaking down sharply to release cake. Peel off parchment paper. Sprinkle with cocoa, powdered sugar or chopped nuts and serve with raspberry sauce or whipped cream.

Makes 12 - 16 VERY rich servings

Just three little ingredients!

Spray your pan with cooking spray and then put down some parchment paper and spray that. You'll thank me later.

Crack your eggs....

..then beat them into a frenzy. You want them nice and fluffy and pale.

Melt the butter....

..then add the chocolate chips. Stir them up and let them melt.

Gently fold the chocolate into the beaten eggs.

You want it to look nice and dark. Like this. No streaks!

Pour the mixture into your prepared pan then put it into a roasting pan. Fill with water...half-way up the side of your pan.

Cover loosely with foil and bake!

Doesn't look too much different baked than unbaked.

Let it cool..then turn it out onto a serving plate. Run a knife around the edges to help release it. You may have to jiggle it some to get it out of the pan. That's why you want to make sure and use parchment paper on the bottom!!

For a pretty and quick presentation, lay a paper doily on top and then sprinkle with powdered sugar.



Monday, March 28, 2011

Simple Fare, Fairly Sloppy

There's nothing cuter ... or messier ... than a baby eating spaghetti!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Tortellini Casserole

I was in need of a quick and tasty casserole one night and I scrounged around in my pantry until I had all the ingredients for this. I used jarred pasta sauce because sometimes it's my best friend in the kitchen. Yep...me and jarred pasta sauce are like *that*. We are BFF's. But, you can use your own homemade sauce and I would be fine with it. However you make this...you can't go wrong. It's sooooooooooooo good.

Tortellini Casserole

1 8-ounce package tortellini, fresh, boxed or frozen - cooked
1 pound lean ground beef
1 onion – chopped
2 cloves garlic - minced
1 red pepper – chopped
1 green pepper – chopped
2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
3 cups pasta sauce – fresh or jarred
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Cook tortellini according to package directions. Set aside.

In a large skillet, saute onion and garlic in some olive oil for a few minutes. Add chopped peppers and cook until slightly soft. Add Italian seasoning and salt and pepper, to taste. Remove to a plate and set aside.

Cook ground beef until done. Drain, if necessary. Add onion/pepper mixture to ground beef then stir in the pasta sauce and 1 cup Parmesan cheese. Stir in cooked tortellini. Pour into greased 9x13 casserole dish and top with remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 for 20 – 25 minutes or until bubbly.

Let's get going with this!

Boil the tortellini...drain and set aside.

Saute the onion and garlic in some olive oil then add the peppers, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Cook until slightly soft. Remove the veggies to plate and set aside.

Cook the ground beef...drain if necessary... then add the veggies back to the pan with the cooked beef.

Pour in your pasta sauce... jarred OR homemade. ;-)

Add some fresh grated parm.

Dump in your cooked tortellini...

...then plop the whole thing in a greased casserole dish and bake it until hot!

Copyright © 2011 Simple Fare, Fairly Simple. All rights reserved.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tablescape Time!!

This is a tablescape/place setting that I've already posted....somewhere. I think it was on SFFS on FB but might have been on my personal page there. Sorry for any repeats for those of you who've seen it already. BUT....I never get tired of seeing this yellow/black/gray combo. It's more informal than some of the others...great for a casual dinner which is when this picture was taken. Right before we had company! (Hi Lyon family!) This set is from the Bordallo Pinheiro collection, made in Portugal. They have the MOST fun stuff. My collection is all yellow but they make so many fun colors. Green, pink, purple, lime green...with all different pieces. Another set that IT Guy and I traveled all over creation for. We didn't get to go to Portugal for these but it's fun memory to have when I get to use them, regardless.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Don't knock it til you've tried it. Broccoli Cheese Soup is pretty stinkin' tasty! I love it! I made this for dinner not too long ago and served it with crusty french bread for dippin'.....yum!

Broccoli Cheese Soup

1½ tablespoons butter
1 medium onion – chopped
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup flour
4 cups (1 quart) half & half
3 cups chicken stock
¾ pound fresh broccoli, cut into pieces – woody stems removed
1½ cups carrots – rough chopped
¾ teaspoon grated nutmeg
3 cups sharp cheddar cheese – grated

In a large dutch oven, melt 1½ tablespoons butter. Add chopped onion and sauté. Remove onions and set aside. In the same pot, melt the 1/3 cup butter. Add the flour and whisk over medium heat for a minute or two. (You are making a roux…or a thickener.) Stirring constantly, slowly add the half&half. Add the chicken stock, whisking the entire time. Let simmer for about 20 minutes.

Add the broccoli, carrots and sautéed onions. Cook over low heat until the veggies are tender, about 25 minutes. Add the salt and pepper to taste. Working in batches, puree the mixture in a food processor or blender. Return to pot over low heat. Add the grated cheese and nutmeg.

This is gonna be soup!!
Saute the onions in a little butter. Then remove from the pot.
Add some more butter and let that melt.
Add some flour!
Look at you...makin' a roux!!
Add the half & half...or cream if you're feeling naughty.
Then add the chicken stock. Let that cook for a bit.
Dump the sauteed onions back in the pot along with the broccoli and carrots. 
I used baby carrots because that's what I had..but you can use regular ones 
if you want.
Let that cook a while. Add the salt and pepper, too!

Working in batches, whirl the mixture in your food processor or blender until it's
all mixed up and crazy like!
Add some nutmeg...I like fresh but the jarred stuff is fine.
Then add the grated cheese. Serve it up and enjoy!